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Pathfinder Society

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Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-01: Before the Dawn—Part I: The Bloodcove Disguise (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 26 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7).

You are sent to Aspis Consortium-infested Bloodcove to gather supplies for a nearly doomed Pathfinder mission nearby. Disguised as ordinary merchants, you have little time to gather what you need and get out before the Consortium discovers and destroys you.

The Bloodcove Disguise is the first scenario in the two-part Before the Dawn campaign arc. Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-02: Before the Dawn—Part II: Rescue at Azlant Ridge is the sequel.

Written by Crystal Frasier

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Product Reviews (26)
1 to 5 of 26 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 26 ratings)

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****( )

Come to Bloodcove to RP


The roleplaying opportunities are great and many, and the tone is set brilliantly with the briefing. You can see Aram Zey's voice on the page, and it sets the standard for what I look for in character writing in scenarios. All depictions of him after this one owe it for giving such a brilliant image of him.

Once again, Crystal Frasier takes risks and tries to use new mechanics to structure and tell the story, which set the standard format for other classics like Severing Ties. While there are parts of the disguise mechanics I would tweak, I still respect the effort to forge new ground. Modern power-creeped characters will steamroll this scenario (though my table did have a rough time with one fight when I played it), but that is more of a function of the scenario's age than anything.

Wake-up call for the kitchen sink

****( )

Most of the time in PF, there's a line of thinking that goes "it doesn't matter if I look weird or scary, I'm a s%#~-kicking adventurer and nobody's gonna mess with me and live". This is one of the first serious undercover adventures where your disguise skills actually get put to the test, and many are found wanting.

I do think the adventure has some bits that could use improvement; the success conditions don't really reflect the mission briefing well. If you ignore part of the mission your odds of complete success (according to PP) improve. I think the management screwed up the move towards secondary success conditions here.

There are multiple tactics to blend in, using different skills. I think the adventure works better if the GM is open as to what skills could be used for what kind of disguises.

As to the actual goings-on. The encounters were occasionally quite challenging, but some rely on sketchy rules (details in the GM thread).

I loved the final encounter though; someone ambushed us, we royally beat her and I used Explosive Bomb to set her on fire. After she burnt down and we defeated her accomplices, she suddenly rose from the dead to deliver some cutscene text and then promptly collapsed back to smouldering corpse again :P

On the whole, I think this adventure is a solid start to the "genre" of undercover scenarios, and that good lessons were learned from it for later sequels like By Way of Bloodcove.

Failing to stay unnoticed was never more fun


Why the Decemvirate decided to send an alchemist and scholar on an infiltration and reconnaissance mission to a pirate-den is beyond me, but who am I to doubt our leaders? Surely they know what they’re doing, right? .. Right?

Those, dear reader, were the thoughts of my alchemist as she walked through Bloodcove yesterday in what turned out to be a fun and entertaining scenario. As is normal, you find yourself tasked with multiple different objectives that you have to complete. Some you will know from the start, others you will randomly have to stumble across along the way. The good news is that this scenario allows you to tackle these minor quests in whatever order you see fit and however you see fit. You ahve a lot of freedom, but there will be consequences and it’s best to remember that you should act like you’re from this place at all times, even if it’s against your nature. Interpret that as you’d like.

Now, my party wasn’t exactly quite subtle as they made their way through town. We would have honestly just been better off simply stating we were Pathfinders as that would have had the same effect, but we can at least say we tried. As such we got to experience the full scenario as we ended up pissing off all the wrong people. That however isn’t a huge problem, as you’re still left with a lot of freedom when it comes to dealing with the many encounters, some more dangerous than others.

The tasks themselves made sense, though at times I wondered why some NPC’s trusted us that quickly. I mean, we were supposed to be pirates and criminals, so why would you allow us to help, why would you believe us? Some of those segments and interactions felt a bit too easy or forced, but nonetheless enjoyable. That said, the rest was great fun and I’d recommend it to others, whether you’ll be able to blend in or not. As for me, well, I’m just a little bit worried as to how aware the enemies are of us, but I can’t wait to find out in part 2.

Great Story, Great Sandbox


Perspective: GM'd once

This story-arc is easily one of my favorites. Part I does a great job of making the PCs feel the hostility of their environment and lets the PCs drive the scenario's (actually logical) plot. Excellent RP opportunities with a few interesting combats. The "sneak around" mechanic is nice in getting the whole party involved, too.

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